A scholarship is financial support awarded to a student for the purpose of schooling. There are various types of scholarships – the two most common being merit-based and need-based. Scholarships do not have to be repaid and there should be no fee to apply for ANY scholarships. Scholarships award students for their academics, athletic talents, artistic talents, heritage and often consider one's financial need. Most students who receive large scholarships earn them from the institution they end up attending. There are, however, thousands of outside scholarships that range from very small amounts ($25) to very substantial ($10,000). Here are some ideas for researching scholarships:
If your parents work for a large company, see if scholarships are offered to children of employees.
If you belong to an ethnic group with an active club, they likely will offer scholarships.
Local chapters of civic organizations such as the Optomists/Soroptomists, Rotarians, Eagles, Elks, etc. all offer some type of scholarship.
Watch for announcements and advertisements in the local newspaper. It is amazing how many organizations decide to offer a scholarship and simply tell the local press.
There are many scholarship search websites. A few of the most popular are listed below. Be aware that these sites do share your data.
Going Merry.com is a scholarship search site that SVHS is using to filter nationals and regional scholarships. These scholarships are for students in grades 9-12. Going Merry is like the Common App for Scholarships. There is one profile to fill out which will autofill all your scholarship applications done through Going Merry. The scholarships on Going Merry have all been screened and are legitimate. Based on your profile, you will get matched to scholarships you are eligible for. You can filter by Best Value, Competitiveness, Award Amount, Completion Time, Deadline and Number of Recipients. Unlike many other scholarship search engines, all student information is stored securely, and never sold to third parties. It is only shared with scholarship providers when a student submits an application.
Voice of Democracy (grades 9-12) This application is an "audio-essay". It provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Award: $1000 - $35,000 Deadline: October 31
Young Mens' Institute Essay Contest(Grades 9-12) Applicant must be a Catholic high school student and must be sponsored by a Young Men's Institute member. Award: $200 - $2000 Deadline: January 19
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR JUNIORS ONLY
Coolidge Scholarship (Grade 11) The Coolidge Scholarship is an annually awarded, full-ride, presidential scholarship that covers a student’s tuition, room, board, and expenses for four years of undergraduate study. This one-of-a-kind scholarship may be used at any accredited college or university in the U.S.
Award: Full Ride College scholarship to ANY accredited college or university in the U.S. Deadline: January 26
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SENIORS ONLY
Petaluma educational Foundation Scholarships
FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS ONLY
The PEF Scholarship program provides financial awards to high school seniors graduating from all seven Petaluma area high schools. Scholarships are given to those attending 4-year colleges, community colleges, and vocational programs.
Please note that some of the scholarship links land on a previous years' application. Many organizations update their scholarship applications in January so continue to check back. The deadlines and awards listed are subject to change. Please see the scholarship application for complete details.
Harold Alexander Scholarships (HS senior - 3 scholarships available) Each year our club provides 6 or more graduating seniors from Petaluma high schools needed scholarship monies. The scholarships are awarded to students who show both academic achievement and service to their community. Awards: $1000 - $3000 Deadline: February 5
Ritko Vocational and Education Scholarship(HS senior) This Petaluma Valley Rotary scholarship is intended to provide a helping hand for young people who face special challenges in achieving educational or career advancement or in obtaining conventional educational scholarships. Award: $3000 Deadline: February 5
Petaluma Women's Scholarship(HS senior) Are you a Petaluma resident? Will you be a graduating from high school in 2023? Is your GPA 2.5 or higher? Or were there significant challenges that effected your GPA? Do you have career goals for your future? Award: $1000 Deadline: February 28
Sons and Daughters of Italy Scholarships(HS senior - 3 scholarships available) These scholarships are awarded to students who are wholly or partially of Italian decent. Three types of scholarships are offered - (1) College Scholarship (2) Athletic (3) Italian Language Study Grant Award: $500 - $5000 Deadline: March 1
Asian Commercial Professionals Scholarships(HS senior - 3 scholarships available) This scholarship is awarded to a SF Bay Area senior student of Asian heritage with an interest in pursuing a career in fields related to Architecture, Engineering, Commercial Real Estate, Facility Management or Constructions Trades. Award: $2000 Deadline: March 1
10,000 Degrees(HS senior) Scholarships are available to HS seniors in Sonoma, Marin and SF counties with significant financial need. Award: up to $2500 Deadline: March 2
California Winegrape Growers Foundation Scholarship(HS senior) The scholarship is awarded to a HS seniors whose parents are employees of a California Winegrape grower. For use at any campus within the UC, Cal State or CA Community College system. (3) four year and (3) two year college scholarships avail. Award: $2000 - $8000 (renewable) Deadline: March 4
North Bay Association of Realtors Charity(HS senior) Twenty-five $1000 scholarships will be awarded for students continuing their education after high school at an accredited college or trade school. Essay and LOR required Award: $1000 Deadline: March 19
Redwood Empire Chinese Association(HS senior) The scholarships are awarded to a students who lives in Sonoma county and is of Asian decent. Award: $500 Deadline: March 31
The Empire Runners Club Student Grant Fund(HS senior) The scholarship is awarded to a student who has participated in track or cross county at any Sonoma County high school and be planning to run on a college team after graduating from high school Award: $750 Deadline: April 29
Italian Catholic Federation Scholarship(HS senior) The scholarship is awarded to a student who has at least a 3.2 GPA and is Catholic and of Italian Descent Award: $400 (renewable) Deadline: April 1
North Bay Officials Organization(HS senior) The Tom Savage memorial scholarship is for high school varsity football players seeking to continue their education in a college, junior college, trade or vocational school. Award: $500 Deadline: April 5
Sonoma County Farm Bureau Scholarships (HS senior - 65 scholarships available) These scholarships are awarded to high school seniors interested in studying agriculture in college. There is one common application that applies to all the scholarships. See application for more details. Award: Varies Deadline: April 15
California Women for Agriculture Scholarship(HS senior) This scholarship is awarded to a female high school student wishing to pursue a career in Agriculture by continuing her education at a 4-year college. Award: $500 Deadline: April 1
Druid Scholarship(HS senior) Applicants must be a current high school senior graduating with at least a 2.75 Cumulative GPA. Application requires a letter of recommendation, a short personal statement, resume, transcript and future proof of full-time enrollment in university, junior college or trade school. Award: $1000 Deadline: April 1
Growing Up Asian in America(K-12) Hosted by AACI and in partnership with NBC Bay Area, Growing Up Asian in America (GUAA) is an annual art contest, including video and essay for students grades K-12 in the Bay Area Award: $1000 grand - $500 for nine runner ups Deadline: April 2
Society of Women Engineers(HS senior) The scholarship is awarded to a young Bay Area woman graduating from high school and going on to pursue a degree in engineering or computer science. Award: $500-$2000 Deadline: April 7
Marin Builders Association (HS senior) Marin Builders offers an opportunity for all students pursuing a college, university or trade school education to apply for a financial scholarship award. They emphasize the need for trained professionals in the construction industry (construction management, engineering, architecture +) . However, scholarship applicants may choose to pursue any advanced course of education in any field. Awards: $500 - $5000 Deadline: April 13
Petaluma Knights of Columbus Scholarship(HS senior from Petaluma) Scholarship will be awarded to a senior in good standing with plans to attend college or university Requirements: Member of Catholic community, academic C average or better, participates in school activities, athletics, student government, debate or similar activities. Awards: $500 (3 available) Deadline: April 20
Dr. Wayne Cannon Medical Scholarship (VOM Lions Club)(HS senior from Sonoma Valley) Dr. Wayne Cannon was a member of VOM Lions Club. He started the Lions In Sight Foundation, which has become a worldwide with Lions International Organization. The memorial scholarship is in his honor. Requirements: Science, Biology and study medicine in college, attend a 2-year or a 4-year school, Minimum GPA 3.2 + Deadline: April 21
The Press Democrat Community Scholarship Fund(HS senior) This scholarship will provide financial support to 2 selected students with a strong and demonstrated interest in journalism and the commitment to completing a bachelor’s degree program. We will also provide a newsroom mentor to scholarship recipients each year and assist students in securing summer paid internships. Award: $2500 (renewable for 4 years) Deadline: April 29th
The Girl EffectScholarship (HS senior girl) We are looking for Sonoma County high school senior girls who are doers, thinkers and go-getters - girls who possess an entrepreneurial spirit, have become leaders, have a great idea and have started a community program and/or business. Award: $2500 Deadline: May 1
Dipsea Race FoundationScholarship (HS senior) The Dipsea Race Foundation offers 5 scholarships annually to outstanding young men and women who have participated (as runners or volunteers) in the Dipsea Race. Award: $5000 Deadline: May 13
PG&E STEMScholarship (HS senior) Scholarships will be awarded based on academic achievement, demonstrated participation and leadership in school and community activities, and financial need. Qualifying degrees in STEM disciplines include engineering, computer science/information systems, cybersecurity, and environmental sciences. To qualify, applicants must: Live or be a dependent of a resident in PG&E’s service area in Northern and Central California; Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study for the entire 2022-2023 academic year; and Be seeking their first undergraduate degree at an accredited four-year institution in California or an HBCU in the United States for the entire 2022-2023 academic year. Award: $2500 (20 available) or $10,000 (20 available) Deadline: June 3
Jackie Robinson Minority Scholarships (HS senior) To be eligible for a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship, an applicant must be a graduating, minority high school senior, be a US citizen, present evidence of financial need, demonstrate a record of academic excellence, demonstrate leadership potential and a dedication to community service, plan to attend an accredited and approved 4-year college within the US or affiliated with a US-based college or university, have not accrued more than 25% of credits needed to graduate from college. Award: up to $30,000 over 4 years Deadline: January 11, 2023
Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) Scholarships(HS senior) Applicants must be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity. Scholarships target underserved APIA students with a special focus on those who are of low socioeconomic status, are the first in their families to attend college or have placed a strong emphasis on community service and leadership as well as solid academic achievement. Award: one-time $2,500 awards to multi-year $20,000 awards Deadline: January 19
eQuality Scholarship (HS senior) Applicants for all scholarships must have demonstrated service to the LGBT+ community. Applicants of all sexual orientations and gender identities are eligible. Award: $6000 Deadline: January 31
Professional Athlete Foundation Scholarship (HS senior athlete) The PAF Student Scholarship is designed for high school athletes with intention to attend a 2-year or 4-year college or university. The scholarship rewards high school athletes for their non-athletic achievements and assist them in achieving their academic career goals. Award: $2500 Deadline: February 1
Hispanic ScholarshipFund (HS Seniors) The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is designed for high school seniors of hispanic heritage with intention to attend a 4-year college or university. Must have a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Award: $500 to $5000 Deadline: February 15
Horatio Alger Scholarship(HS senior) Awarded to students throughout the nation who have significant financial need and have exhibited integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Award: $10,000 - $25,000 Deadline: March 15
Los Hermanos de Stanford Scholarship (HS senior) Multiple scholarships are awarded to outstanding Latinx students with plans to attend any 2-4 year institution of higher learning. Applicants will be judged on their contributions to Community Service, Academic Excellence, and Cultural Awareness. Award: ranging from $500 to $1000 Deadline: April
PB & J Scholarship (HS senior) The PB&J Scholarship is for students who have experienced personal challenges that may not have allowed them to perform well academically, but who still have the drive to succeed. Award: $1000 (2 available) Deadline: May 31, 2023
CA Association of Collectors Educational Scholarship(HS junior or senior) This scholarship contest is open to current high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in a California high school and will be attending any accredited public or private college, university, or trade school within 12 months of graduation. Award: $1500 - $2500 Deadline: n/a